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The dangers of distracted driving and how to avoid them

Each day, negligent and innocent motorists, passengers and pedestrians lose their lives in car accidents stemming from distractions. Though the dangers of distracted driving are well documented, many Seattle drivers dismiss them because they have been fortunate enough to avoid collisions thus far or ended up with relatively few and minor injuries. 

The majority of distracted driving accidents involve the use of smartphones. Many incidents caused by driving distractions end with victims sustaining severe injuries and trauma. There is a reason why a driver's eyes and attention must remain on the roads and motorists around them. In the few seconds one uses to check or send text messages, road and driving conditions can change, making collisions more likely. That is especially true in the presence of other distracted motorists. 

Understanding driving distractions

Driving distractions fall into three categories: visual, manual and cognitive. Usually, collisions occur when two or more types of distractions occur. For example, all three kinds of distractions happen when drivers become so engaged in using their phones that they no longer have both their hands on the steering wheel, cannot see or cannot clearly anticipate the actions of nearby motorists. Such distractions render drivers unable to react in time to avoid crashes. 

How to sidestep distractions and accidents 

Distracted driving is preventable, but it requires a lot of effort for some. The driver's seat is no place for distractions. It is also not the right place to multitask. Driving is not always a fun and enjoyable activity, but by driving responsibly, it can become a safer one. 

Avoid distractions by putting them away where you cannot see them, making them less likely to cross your mind and distract you while driving. There is nothing wrong with asking one of your passengers for assistance when you need to adjust the radio or GPS, or make calls or send text messages if you absolutely must. You could also wait until you park your vehicle somewhere out of harm's way.

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